• The C&O Canal a few miles above Great Falls VA
  • “The Georgetown” canal boat at Georgetown. Mile 0 of the C&O Canal
  • Crossing the Youghiogheny at Ohiopyle on the Great Allegheny Passage
  • Great Falls of the Potomac
  • Keystone viaduct on the Great Allegheny Passage
  • Mount Vernon home of George Washington
  • Dyke Marsh on the Mount Vernon Trail
  • View of the Potomac from Mount Vernon
  • Volunteers muscle a stepping stone into place on the PHT
  • Volunteers install a gravel tread on the PHT
  • Volunteers getting ready for action!
  • The C&O Canal a few miles below Great Falls VA
  • View of Harpers Ferry WVA from the C&O Canal
  • The Wide Water section of the C&O canal
  • The Paw Paw tunnel on the C&O Canal
  • A nice view of some wind mills on the GAP
  • A very picturesque spot on the GAP

"We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; A trip takes us."

John Steinbeck - Travels with Charley

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We regret to announce the passing of Charles W. "Chuck" Sloan. Chuck was involved with Fairfax Trails & Streams from the very beginning (mid-1990s). He participated in the early Cross County Hikes. He did pro-bono legal work for many trail groups, including the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Potomac River Greenways Coalition (FTAS's parent 501(c)3 organization), and the Potomac Heritage Trail Association. Chuck also played a key role in creating the American Discovery Trail (the only coast-to-coast hiking trail) and the American Hiking Society. Chuck was always there to provide a hand! We will miss him. Chuck's Washington Post obituary can be found at bit.ly/1HQRTN0 ...
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  Video shows dramatic descent from Bles Park Overlook to Broad Run.   At 0:08 you see an alternate route down, if the one shown induces too much vertigo. At the bottom, at 1:25, you'll see a spot where Murphy Jenkins of Loudoun Parks (Thanks, Murphy!) chainsawed a huge logjam, making passage here easier (my wife Karen is there). This is part of the Potomac Heritage Trail, about a mile up the trail from the Bles Park entrance (44830 Riverside Pkwy, Ashburn VA). Warning--we got lots of ticks here, whereas the day before on the Cross County trail, we got none....
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UPDATE June 8:  The Board overrode Hyland's objections, to approve the less-scenic northern alignment at Fairfax Water, instead of the Cliffside route we advocated.  Video of the depressing and rather bizarre decision process is at bit.ly/bosRejectsCliffsTrail, starting at 4:01:30.  Key vote is at 4:07.  There will be a trail from Rt. 123 to Occoquan Overlook Drive via the northern route.  However, our dream of continuing it up to Sandy Run Park and eventually Bull Run Park (thus linking the Cross County Trail and West County Trail) now appears to be unattainable--since two landowners who had offered easements if the Cliffs trail were approved have so far refused for the northern route.  We will continue to monitor the situation. Thanks for all...
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UPDATE 5/20  This event has been cancelled.  Join us in Forest Heights on June 13!
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UPDATE 5/1:  The 4/28 Board of Supervisors public hearing featured strong pro-trail testimony, emphasizing spectacular scenery, major connectivity and compatibility of trails with public infrastructure and security. Fairfax Water will provide chance for other supervisors to hike the Cliffside route, a good sign. Decision deferred to May 12.  More details, with video, coming soon.  Please tell the Supervisors "I support the Cliffs of Occoquan Trail at Fairfax Water" (703-324-3151 or clerktotheBOS@fairfaxcount>y.gov). Better yet, call that number and reserve a slot to testify at the Fx County Govt. Center public hearing on April 28 (this has the impact of 20 e-mails). It starts at 3:30 pm; first public speaker likely around 4:15. On April 21, Supervisor Hyland arranged with Fairfax Water a hike along...
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Final repairs are complete now for the PHNST in Great Falls National Park just north of Georgetown Pike.  This part, along Difficult Run, also serves as the northernmost piece of the Cross County Trail.  The trail has been essentially complete since February but now all the "t"s are crossed and it is officially open!  Congratulations to Don Briggs, Brent O'Neill, and others for getting this done. Of course, we at PHTA, and Great Falls Trailblazers, have been actively advocating for this important project!   ...
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